Construct validity of the core conditions and factor structure of the client evalulation of counselor scale


Jo Cohen Hamilton


The Client Evaluation of Counselor Scale (CECS) was developed by the author and used to obtain 135 client's evaluations of their counselor's in-session altitudes and behaviors, along with client's reported satisfaction with their counseling experience. Practicum/internship counselors (n : 35) participating in the study represented themselves as preferring a variety of theoretical orientations. For purposes of the present report, clients' evaluations of the core conditions (as defined by specific CECS items) were appraised with regard lo the variables with which they were most highly correlated. Global profiles of an understanding/empathic, an accepting/unconditionally positively regarding, and a genuine counselor were derived from statistical data on face valid and content valid items as revealed by clients' reports. These core condition profiles compare well with traditional conceptualizations of the core conditions. Twelve empirically-factored counselor styles/dimensions were identified; most included both theory specific and non-specific variables (survey items); and all correlated significantly with counseling outcome. Results are compared and contrasted with current research on counseling process and outcome, with person-centered concepts in particular addressed. The present research provides support for the views that multifarious therapist approaches are correlated with positive client outcomes; that person-centered characteristics appear to be especially strong correlates of client positive outcome; and that perhaps the most significant component of both counselor embodiment of the core conditions and client positive outcome is the client's perception of the therapist as a well-adjusted person.